Red is the Rose

Little girl playing violin
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"Red is the Rose" is a traditional Irish ballad of unknown origin. It's sung to the same tune as the famous Scottish song "Loch Lomond," and has a similar theme: the sadness of parting with one's lover.

Notable Versions to Sample or Purchase

Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy - "Red is the Rose" (Traditional Irish)
The Chieftains and Nancy Griffith - "Red is the Rose" (Traditional Irish/Contemporary Folk)
The Three Irish Tenors - "Red is the Rose" (Classical/Opera)

Lyrics

Red is the Rose by yonder garden grows
And fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.

T'was down by Killarney's green woods that we strayed
And the moon and the stars they were shining
The moon shone its rays on her locks of golden hair
And she swore she'd be my love forever.

Red is the Rose by yonder garden grows
And fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.

It's not for the parting that my sister pains
It's not for the grief of my mother
It is all for the loss of my bonnie Irish lass
That my heart is breaking forever.

Red is the Rose by yonder garden grows
And fair is the lily of the valley
Clear is the water that flows from the Boyne
But my love is fairer than any.